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Annual community awards postponed

By Craig Campbell, News Staff

The Dundas Community Awards night has been postponed a month, to Friday, May 30, after a lack of nominations left the event on the brink of cancellation.

It would have been the first time in 24 years a Dundas Citizen of the Year was not named.

“The community has rallied to make sure it goes ahead,” said Hamilton Chamber of Commerce president Keanin Loomis. “Our hope is it’s back on track.”

Jamie Aitken, chair of the chamber’s Dundas Division since November 2012, stepped down from the local leadership role recently. Chamber member Arlene Vanderbeek, executive assistant to city councillor Russ Powers, stepped in to re-schedule the event.

Vanderbeek confirmed early last week no nominations had been received for the event originally scheduled for Friday, April 25 at Dundas Valley Golf and Curling Club. She said she was hoping to talk to Loomis and delay the event a month – if it could still be done well. She said last Thusday the event was rescheduled for May 30.

Jeremey MacRaie, chief operating officer at Dundas Valley Golf and Curling Club, said the club has put May 30 on hold for the Dundas Community Awards night. The evening recognizing a local Citizen of the Year, Youth Volunteer of the Year and Business of the Year was set to return to Dundas Valley Golf and Curling Club for the first time in two years.

Hamilton Chamber of Commerce administrative assistant Whitney Simmons informed the Dundas Star News by email two weeks ago no nominations had been received for the awards and the chamber would not be going ahead with the banquet this year.

“We have several divisions and committees, and some are doing better than others,” Loomis said. “We need to find the right formula for re-engaging people, particularly the business community in Dundas, around the Dundas division.”

The RBC Royal Bank Dundas Citizen of the Year was first awarded in 1972, and handed out every year until 1985.

The award returned in 1986 and 1987 but was not awarded in 1988 and 1989 Since 1990, the citizen of the year has been recognized annually without interruption.

Since 1994, the Dundas Valley Collision Centre Youth Volunteer of the Year Award has been awarded. The Dundas Business of the Year Award was introduced in 2009 and been awarded annually since.

Nomination forms are available at Dundas Valley Collision, 77 Mercer St., and the Dundas Royal Bank, 70 King St. W.

For more information contact the chamber at 905-522-1151.

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